Landscaping Ideas for Privacy

Get landscaping ideas for creating a private, secluded yard.

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  • 1 of 11

    Depend on a Tall Fence

    Decorative and useful hardscape pieces and plantings soften the lines of a towering fence.

    • Simple detailing, including a wide cap piece, breaks up an otherwise overwhelming facade on an extra-tall fence
    • Hung on the fence, a decorative latticework sculpture serves as an outdoor-ready, artistic element.
    • A low stone bench, with river rock collected on top and at the base, offers an additional seating spot.
    • Near the base of the fence, lights provide a safety element and ambience for nighttime gatherings.
    • Groundcover and a midheight tree soften the geometric lines of the paved seating area.
  • 2 of 11

    Open Up for Privacy

    A stripped-down fence and airy plants offer subtle screening.

    • Two oversize urns planted with rhododendrons mark the transition from public face to private space.
    • The open latticework fence offers a discrete but unmistakable barrier; bright green paint and wood framing gives it distinctive character.
    • Double doors are a steadfast signal of a secluded area; the latticework details and wood inserts neatly complement the contrasting fence pieces.
    • Lacy, branching trees gracefully arch up and over the fence for a soft, protective canopy.
    • A wispy groundcover of sweet woodruff softens the space between gravel pathway and fence.
  • 3 of 11

    Use Lattice as a Screen

    A fence and carefully chosen plants insulate a side yard.

    • A clamoring vine -- here, Boston ivy -- softens hardscape edges and adds another layer of privacy.
    • A door is a distinctive, uninterrupted signal of a private space; fitted with a small section of latticework, it includes a decorative element that repeats the design in the fence.
    • While the fence's woodwork signals a secluded landscape, the lattice's open weave filters both sunlight and views.
    • Low-growing shrubs, such as a dwarf globe blue spruce, provide a way to maintain a year-round, softscape barrier.
    • A carefully chosen selection of plants and materials -- river rock, patterned pavers, variegated hostas, black-eyed Susans -- offers low-maintenance beauty.
  • 4 of 11

    Perfect Pairing

    Plants and fence work in tandem to shield a front yard from view.

    • A pergola can be a decorative piece and a privacy element; here, it's integrated into a fence.
    • A few shrubs and plants, including coleus, soften the narrow stretch of space between pathway and house.
    • Wisteria works in tandem with the more substantial privacy elements, including the stucco fence, to offer a second layer of screening.
    • Balanced on top of the pergola, a wide, shallow container contains trailing plants.
    • Two materials in the fence -- stucco and wrought iron -- break up what could be a static facade.
  • 5 of 11

    An Artful Fence

    Distinctive features play up the elegance of a private patio.

    • Most every fence needs edges and cap pieces; here an edge shaped into a curve and a cap piece in the form of a pyramid offer visual accents.
    • Several sizes of similarly styled containers, planted with sunny zinnias, can be moved into different positions within a secluded nook to offer another layer of privacy.
    • A trimmed boxwood shrub supports the style of the fence and closes the gap between public and private spaces.
    • Trees, including a Japanese maple, planted close to house and fence enclose the area overhead.
    • Richly stained wood doors break up a large expanse of stucco on the fence.
  • 6 of 11

    Ready for Roses

    A fence offers seclusion and a space for a pretty plant's blooms.

    • Architectural details on hardscape elements can add visual interest to privacy elements. Here, a gentle curve keeps the eye moving along the top of the fence.
    • Rambling plants, such as this climbing rose, offer a pretty way to soften fences.
    • The tight weave of the open latticework fence screens the view while allowing for good air movement and filtering light to the semiprivate yard.
    • Grass that runs right next to a fence can prove difficult to mow; this backyard includes a wide berth, covered in gravel, to separate lawn and fence edge.
    • Tall trees and an elevated urn mark the end of the fence and continue the separation between public and private.
  • 7 of 11

    Create a Restful Nook

    Use plants to cocoon a garden spot.

    • Trees often are used as a canopy over a quiet nook. Here a pergola serves the same purpose.
    • In place of the heavy-duty look of wood, a delicate metal screen shields two chairs and a table.
    • Plants can complement each other and hardscape elements. In this nook, a burgundy Japanese maple pops against the yellow stucco and picks up the colors in the chair fabric.
    • Lower growing plants, including a climbing hydrangea, envelop the seating area, giving the setting softscape "sides."
    • Pretty blooms, including astilbe, get a boost by being planted in an elevated container.
  • 8 of 11

    Fanciful Fence

    Dress up a privacy barrier with accents.

    • In a mostly hardscape section of the garden, mixing materials heightens visual interest. Here, pavers combine with river rocks and shredded wood for a distinctive edge.
    • Garden ornaments, including an imaginative birdhouse planter and a series of bright purple paintings, adorn the fence.
    • A pair of metalwork obelisks provides a spot for vines to clamor up.
    • Staggered landscape elements, such as a raised bed, offer delightful garden details.
    • A tall wood fence gets a pick-me-up with a simple latticework top.
  • 9 of 11

    Casual Corner

    A few plants and accents create a pretty, private nook.

    • Instead of continuing a paved section of the garden all the way to a privacy fence, a small planted nook offers a focal point and a softer edge.
    • A cluster of hydrangeas, distinctive in both foliage and big blooms, takes the focus off the functional but monotone fence.
    • Set on a stone pedestal, a showy urn moves the eye from the corner of the fence out toward the garden.
    • Repeating patterns make the difference in even the simplest of landscapes. Here, the angles of the pavers are replicated in the angles of the corner bed.
    • Tucked against the backdrop of the fence, two hanging baskets pick up the color of the blooms in the containers and in the ground.
  • 10 of 11

    Plants in Place of a Fence

    Clusters of midheight to tall growers offer an appealing alternative to hardscape elements.

    • Most homeowners rely on hardscape elements for privacy, but in this secluded nook, oversize ornamental grasses backed by larger shrubs and trees stand in for a fence.
    • When the grasses are cut back in the spring, evergreen magnolia and Alaskan cedar maintain structural interest.
    • Located in a large container, a water fountain helps filter out noise from neighbors, making the yard feel more private.
    • While taller plants offer a natural "back" to the seating area, intermittent placement of midsize growers, including supplies a lower screen.
    • An array of plants in oranges, light greens, and purples, such as coralbells, creates an attractive color palette.
  • Next Slideshow What Should I Plant Together?

    What Should I Plant Together?

    What plants go together? Pairing plants by color, season of bloom, and shape can sometimes be confusing. So, here's a list of some of our favorite combinations with tips on how to put them to good use in your landscape.
    Begin Slideshow »

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